Add a bit of creativity under your tree this Christmas and have some fun wrapping your presents. Rather than expensive, shiny gift wrap, why not give some of these more sustainable and natural ideas a go. Some take a little bit more effort – but you’ll be left with a pile of beautiful gifts to add to your Christmas decorations.
For a lovely, rustic and traditional feel, wrap your gifts in simply brown paper and brown, or even gold string and then add some festive foliage. Anything with scarlet red berries and dark green leaves works perfectly, but hardy herbs such as rosemary also work and add a great smell. Add a couple of cinnamon or dry out orange slices very slowly in a warm oven (4 hours at 100 degrees on a baking sheet to ensure they don’t stick) for a really festive touch.
A great way to save the environment and on expensive paper – try wrapping your gifts in old newspaper. The Financial Times has a lovely pink hue which goes wonderfully with a red and white, or silver theme. Try to find sheets with mainly black and white writing and photography for the best effect, and wrap on the bias (at a diagonal). Finish with simple ribbon.
For the magpies amongst us – use bits and pieces you’ve collected over the years. Seashells, buttons and sequins are perfect to add something a little different to a simply wrapped gift. For difficult parcels – roughly wrap in tissue paper (clean re-used tissue paper which has already been scrunched up works really well) – tie simply with garden string, and stick your decorations on with a glue gun. It’s a little extra effort – but people will really appreciate the creative effort.
Dried foliage looks beautiful covered in a layer of silver frost. Thistles, cow parsley, holly leaves and ivy all work brilliantly – just spray on a light dusting of silver spray and leave to dry. Add to simply wrapped packages in white or brown paper for the most dramatic effect.
Make your own paper
It’s easier than you think to print your own wrapping paper. You can create a simple stamp with a piece of lino, thick card, or even a potato. Then paint your stamp using a paintbrush (or dip in paint) and print at random, or in a structured pattern. Gold on brown paper works really well for a subtle effect. Why not finish off with some gold coin decorations – so that the wrapping becomes part of the present?